Is this the Greatest Manchester United XI….Ever?

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Since July this year, RedRants has been running a series of articles attempting to decipher who’s been the greatest ever player in Manchester United’s illustrious history in each and every position. Many of RedRants own community got involved and so too did enthusiastic guest writers, I’m grateful to them all, Thank You.

Some positions in our XI are filled with the obvious, others are not so cut and dried. One thing is for sure though, the debates will rage on and there’s absolutely no definitive answer because Manchester United have fielded more than one fantastically gifted performer in every position.

This final article amalgamates all the articles into one; to produce RedRants’ Manchester United: ‘All-Time Best XI’. The important question is…..How closely does it mirror yours?

Football Philosophy:

It’s ingrained into the footballing philosophy of Manchester United, arguably the greatest football club in the world, that playing free-flowing, attacking football; in a 4-4-2 system with flying wingers, is not only the ‘correct’ way to play the game, but also ‘the United way’ to play the game, some even suggest it’s in our DNA.

It could perhaps be argued that, in recent times, we’re seeing a shift away from this formation (reflecting a general shift in tactics throughout the entire footballing world) in order to compete at the very highest level – regardless of the many obstacles the club now faces.

Sheikhs, Oligarks, Tycoons and Governments are all dipping their fingers in football’s pie, and it’s starting to get messy.

United cannot be discounted from that. Off the pitch United are without doubt a beacon of all that’s wrong in the game with massive debts, abhorred; pilfering owners and rocketing ticket prices.

On the pitch however, the passion and desire remain. If, in 100 years time, someone publishes a similar article, I suspect and certainly hope, that many of the players on this list remain. More importantly, I’d like to believe the formation and its philosophy remain etched to the club and the cries of ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK continue to bellow from the Old Trafford terraces seats.

RedRants XI:

It’s with that in mind I’ll begin on the right-wing where the winner of this little argument is  – Christiano Ronaldo: Ronaldo made 292 appearances scoring 118 goals between 2003 & 2009 before he parted company with United bound to fulfil his lifetimes ambition of playing for Real Madrid in a deal worth a whopping £80million. Bought for £14million from Sporting Lisbon, Ronaldo is widely accepted as one of Sir Alex Fergusons best signings, I mean who could argue with that when for three years Ronaldo  – almost single handedly – took United to three league titles and two European Cup finals (winning one and losing one) scoring superb solo efforts, magnificent free-kicks and remarkable back-flicks (see: Villa at home, 2008) along the way, not to mention his countless assists that have helped to cement his place in our Best XI.

Another of Sir Alex’s best signings proudly takes his place amongst the Best XI as centre forward – Eric Cantona: Eric was signed from Leeds United way back in 1992 for a paltry £1million. At the time United were battling Leeds United for the now Premier League crown, it seems unbelievable a club would sell such a jewel to such a bitter rival…..but then, we are talking about Leeds United here! Eric went on to score 82 goals in 185 appearances for the club, many of which are replayed, and replayed, and replayed not only because of their genius, but because they came at a time when United were trying desperately to overcome twenty-six baron years that had become a chalice around their neck. When United did eventually remove the chalice and lift the league title for the first time since 1967 (the 8th time in the club’s history) many believed Eric was the catalyst. In season 95/96 Eric epitomized his value to the team (and the club) scoring countless, crucial goals to secure vital points that saw United go on to win their 2nd league and cup double. Games against Newcastle away; Arsenal, Spurs and Coventry at Old Trafford, all ended in one-nil victories with the solitary goal scored by Eric. Just for good measure he fittingly secured United’s 9th FA Cup triumph with a one-nil win over arch enemy Liverpool, again providing the only goal of the game. It’s amazing to think that his arrival at the club was only sparked by an inpromptu phone call enquiring about the availability of Denis Irwin!

For many, Eric is the King. For Eric, United is the club. Eric retired prematurely in 1997 after (I believe) becoming disillusioned with the authorities and the unfair, inconsistent treatment he received. He did however leave us with great memories and some unforgettable quotes.

It’s not all about attacking football no matter how the chant goes. Defending has been the fulcrum of everything United have built upon and achieved down the years. Nowhere is that more evident than in the centre of defence. It’s my opinion that this particular article was probably the most difficult to conclude. Nothing highlights that point more than the omission of Paul McGrath. If Paul McGrath cannot get amongst a Top 10 (let alone be considered the best) then you know there’s been some special talent taking care of the ugly side of the game. Steve Bruce and Nemanja Vidic will occupy these central defensive berths and my guess is they would strike fear into managers and centre forwards up and down the country and throughout Europe. Both fearless, both leaders, both tough tackling and both determined defenders worthy of consideration for this honour. Steve Bruce made 414 appearances between 1987 & 1996 scoring an incredible (for a defender) 51 goals, none of which are more important or more famous than the one he headed in (with swerve by the way!) in the dying moments versus Sheffield Wednesday in ’93. That goal, and the one minutes previously, ultimately carved a path to ending United’s arduous 26 year wait for the league title. Alongside him, Nemanja Vidic: 236 appearances and counting. Recently plagued by injury, Nemanja is currently finding his way back to form, but his inclusion here is testament to his tremendous heart, his strength and his prescence since arriving at the club. Nemanja is now club captain and led United to their record breaking 19th league title in 2011 whilst also being named PFA Player of the Year.

Alongside our centre backs we’re flanked by two players with an absolute contrast. First, at rightback, there’s only one Gary Neville: No pace, no acceleration, can’t shoot, won’t shoot; BUT. Twenty years, 602 appearances and the clubs-colours running through his veins; meant Gary Neville made the best of what he had. His attitude was second to none and his workrate insatiable. Gary was a defender who read the game beautifully but as the years ticked by the role became more demanding. Gary didn’t baulk at this, he puffed his chest out and learnt how to attack. He listened, he trained; he was motivated to stay in the team because he knew nothing else. Made club captain after Roy Keane’s departure in 2005, Gary called time on his career in 2011 after winning an incredible haul of domestic and European honours with his one and only love….Manchester United.

At Leftback, in contrast, we find the late Roger Byrne: A player with genuine pace and the ability to frighten opponents with his speed and a dynamic talent to switch from leftback to outside-left. A victim of the Munich Air Disaster, Roger had his career tragically cut short, but during his 280 appearances he received glowing praise from players such as Alfredo Di Stefano (Real Madrid) and Hungarian legend Puskas. After making his debut against Liverpool in November 1951, he was rarely out of the team. It was no surprise either, that the Busby Babes began to excel in the mid-1950’s as a consequence of Byrne being made captain.

With the back four complete it’s time to introduce our Goalkeeper. This is one of the positions where there can surely be no argument. Peter Schmeichel: Not only is Peter United’s greatest ever Goalkeeper, he’s also the barometer pundits use when comparing keepers around the world. Peter was one a kind, he redefined a keepers role and how ‘keeping nets’ is done. His distribution was second to none. United countered successfully from countless genius releases from Peter. Defence turned into attack, turned into a goal, turned into the stopwatch on Match of the Day highlighting the time between save and goal; week, after week, after week. I doubt another keeper in history could be attributed with as many assists as Peter was. Today, arguably Manuel Neuer is the world’s number one goalkeeper, you only need to watch him to see the influence Schmeichel has had on the art of goalkeeping. For his 398 appearances, spanning nearly a decade, Peter rightfully pulls on the gloves in our Best XI.

At the time this is published we’re all (evidently with the exception of Sir Alex!) aware of a minor personnel crisis in the middle of United’s midfield. Maybe we’ve been spoiled over the years? I’d suggest that’s not the entire truth but it certainly bears some weight as to what’s driven United fans to have such high expectations from our central midfielders. Bryan Robson is dressed ready to go, but our guest writer (Rob) couldn’t separate Roy Keane and Paul Scholes to sit beside him .Similar to the centre back pairing this would no doubt have caused the writer much deliberation; and the omission of either Paul Scholes or Roy Keane, emphasises this nicely. So, it’s down to me to decide. Roy Keane: Signed from Nottingham Forest (to the derision of Kenny Dalglish!) in 1993, he went on to captain United through their historically most sustained period of success, making 480 appearances, scoring 51 goals along the way. Keane is remembered for his no nonsense approach, his unquenchable thirst for success and his uncompromising demand on others to strive with him. Mentally he had no match but that wasn’t the end of his ability, there wasn’t an area on the pitch he didn’t know how to operate in. He had everything and epitomised what every United fan wants to see in the middle of the park. If only there was a 21 year old Roy Keane out there now. However…..Roy doesn’t make it in, simply because he and Robbo are too similar. After Roy’s epic header in Turin I invested in my one and only Champions League replica shirt with extra badges and KEANE 16 on the back. I’d never done it before then and I doubt I’ll ever do it again (I still wear that shirt to this day), but that’s what Keane did, he influenced people. Bryan Robson: Few words can describe Robbo more adequately than ‘colossal’. Signing on a rickety old wooden table under the watchful eye of Ron Atkinson and about 46,000 delirious Reds, Robson transferred from West Bromich Albion (for a then record fee of £1.5million) in October 1981 and quickly became cult hero and club captain. His motivation was simple – win! During his 461 appearances Robson would sometimes plough a lonely furrow, but he never gave up. Who can ever forget the night in ‘84 when Robson, Stapleton, Whiteside, and Co, despatched a Barcelona side (boasting a two goal first leg advantage and a certain Maradona) 3-0 to advance to the semi-finals of the European Cup Winners Cup? Robson’s career was littered with highs but plagued injuries, setbacks and comebacks, but still he soldiered on and was eventually rewarded when he lifted the Premier league title (jointly) with Steve Bruce in 1993 before calling time on a tremendous Old Trafford career. To compliment Robson I think the perfect partner is Paul Scholes: There’s not a lot to say that hasn’t already been said about Paul or indeed any of these players, but when Bobby Charlton says you’re the best and Xavi (Barcelona) describes you as ‘a reference’ [purporting to his midfield genius] you know you’re talking about someone special. Scholes made 676 appearances for United scoring 150 goals. Emanating from ‘The Class of 92’, Paul slowly captivated his audience and gradually became the heartbeat of a team that was reinventing itself after the loss of Robson, the moving on of Paul Ince and the eventual replacing of Brian McClair. Scholes quietly in typically humble fashion, retired in 2011 as one of English footballs most decorated players.

Speak to a more senior Red and I reckon this ‘Final Best XI’ could be scoffed at. “Where’s George Best? [insert a shake of the head and a tut here]……You may as well stick that in the bin son!” But hold on…..here comes YOUR King. Yes many will register Cantona as the King but way back in the swinging-sixties that obviously wasn’t the case, they had their own King. Denis Law: In eleven years Denis made 404 appearances and scored with a ratio of more than a-goal-every-other-game. Hat-Tricks and vital goals at vital times turned ‘The Lawman’ into a fans favourite. Law went on to win the European Footballer of the Year in 1964 for his performances during United’s FA Cup Winning season. To this day, Law remains the only Scottish player ever to win the accolade.

Finally we come onto possibly the simplest of choices. Who plays on the left wing? It seems ironic we should begin on the glamorous, iconic right side of United’s midfield with Ronaldo’s £80million pricetag and his travelling circus and now culminate on the left with a boy who was hailed as ‘The Next George Best’, made his debut at 16 in March 1991, didn’t cost United a penny as part of that ‘Class of 92’ generation and is currently still clocking up appearances and defying the laws of physics and gravity. Ryan Giggs: The clubs most decorated footballer. English football’s most decorated footballer. Probably the World’s most decorated footballer. How many words can describe this man and his Manchester United career? One, Two, Thirty-Seven? You choose. Ryan Giggs has played professional football for the same team at the very highest level for an astonishing 249 months. That’s 20.75yrs or 7585 days. An unimaginable 885 appearances. 12 League Titles, 4 FA Cups, 4 League Cups, 2 Champions League’s and the list goes on. There’s 2 Young Player of the Year’s, 1 Player of the Year, 1 Sports Personality of the Year and the personal awards list goes on. Ryan is an Enigma, a talent of epic proportions. We’ll all read this and see images of that chest hair goal at Villa Park in the FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal after Viera famously gifts him the ball. We see flashes of him jinking in and out of defenders, flicking balls with the outside of his boot into areas he knows only he will get to first. Giggs has scored in every Premier League season since its inception and is without doubt the greatest player to ever play left wing for Manchester United.

Hopefully you’ve had as much fun reading this as I’ve had putting it together, feel free to put me right if I’ve made any factual errors or if you’re opinion differs from this one. You can see all the individual articles created to assemble this XI in The All-Time Best XI Series section of the site.

In a great twist of fate, during the making of this series I was offered two copies of the newly released ‘Manchester United: Greatest Ever XI’ DVD in exchange for a small plug. We’re giving one copy away on Twitter and one copy on our Facebook page – so if you’re not already following @Red_Rants or facebook.com/redrants-  then you know what to do. Failing that, you can buy your own copy of the 4 disc DVD set from the ManUtd Store.

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Here’s what the DVD is all about…..

AS VOTED FOR BY THE FANS, THIS IS MANCHESTER UNITED’S GREATEST EVER XI.

A host of great players have played for Manchester United over the club’s long and distinguished history, but who would represent the Red Devils in your ultimate dream team?

A unique, fan-driven project, MANCHESTER UNITED: GREATEST EVER XI sets out to select a definitive team of the greatest players ever to pull on the famous red shirt. A worldwide fan poll was held on manutd.com, giving fans the chance to vote for their Greatest Ever XI and decide the line-up that will be featured in this official club DVD collection.

Across 4 DVDs and more than over 130 players, fans make the case for their picks and relive memories of mighty performances on the pitch highlighting the club’s most memorable players.

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Please follow the site on Twitter @Red_Rants and me @Rimmerstweets

Ian.

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134 Comments

    • Agree craig, no way we can leave out any of that wonderful trio of george, bobby or dennis. Likewise schmeichel and ronaldo i think are also guaranteed starters in my book.
      As for who else makes the team, well its all a matter of opinion really, we all have our own favourites and opinions with our lads. Love these threads though, really interesting stuff, cheers ian.

  1. Traverse – you picked anything up around OT/Carrington about the Vidic to Madrid rumour mate? I blew it away as rubbish, but it just won’t go away this rumour. What’s the lowdown Trav if you have any?

    • The word on the street is that it is going to happen……Fergie has lost faith in him and his wife wants out.

    • I doubt it. And definitely not at the £10mil that’s being banded about. If Madrid were to offer £30million for a 30 year old we’d be stupid not to take it with an abundance of young defensive talent. Also, that would cover a lot of what a certain midfield upgrade could cost.

    • Im not sure we could really have edwards in the starting 11, but he’d definitely make the squad, atleast with me anyway.
      Always saddens me thinking about poor duncan, and just how great he could have been (well he was great already, but from everything ive heard he could, scratch that, would have been one of the greatest players that had ever lived).
      My grandad watched him live in the flesh many times and to this day, still believes after watching the likes of law, charlton, best, scholes, giggs, cantona, beckham, robson etc, that none of them have ever come close to duncan.
      Imagine a mix of gerrard, scholes, keane, robson and xavi, take the best out of all of them and mix it together, and you get about 50% of what duncan was all about. So my grandad says anyway, and he does usually know his stuff in regards to football. Just such a tradgedy we never got to see him approach his best years, 22 years old when he was taken away from us. Just cruel 😥

  2. Keane for Robson. Simply because he is better defensively and we need that to complement Scholes.

    Stam for Bruce. More pace. Bruce and Vidic would get exposed by a fast striker. Also greater height. Bruce was a great player but both Vidic and Stam were best in the world in their position.

    I have no idea why Best is not in the team. As discussed Giggs was a loyal servant but never really hit the dizzying heights Best and Ronaldo did. Selecting Giggs is based on sentiment but a best XI should be the best team.

    I’d also put Charlton ahead of Cantona. Cantona was a Premiership Legend but never really showed his true talent in Europe, although partly it was because as a team we were very naive in Europe for much of the 90s.

    • Agreed with Cantona, could never do it in Europe, brilliant in the Premiership though.

  3. disagree – but you have real good reasons for included them in your squad – good read Ian!

  4. I’ve just watched a tape of United playing at the Bernabeu in the Champions League 02/03, and I thank the footballing gods for the sight of Paul Scholes. No wonder Zidane said he was the greatest opponent he ever faced. Imperious on the ball, Xavi and Iniesta in the body of one footballer. His passing is long, short, flicks, drives and lobs. It all looks so effortless. No wonder then, that Guardiola had this to say.

  5. Scholes is, for me, a must in any Manchester United all time XI. The lad is the perfect player, and at his peak he was impossible to rival. His passes, vision, flicks, goalscoring and allround team-play would take every club to the next level. But who will partner him in midfield? Edwards, Keane, Robson, Charlton? We have been blessed with so much talent in there during the years that it’s impossible to settle for just one. Because Duncan had such a short career with Manchester United(God bless his soul) I think he is the one easiest to leave out. Charlton on the other hand held the record for most appearances with Manchester United until Giggsy decided to keep breaking all the laws of physiqs by playing proffesional football at one of the best clubs in the world for more than 20 years. But you still have Robbo and Keano there, who were the greatest warriors and leaders United have ever seen! Robbo was the shining light for us in our barren period, and one of the most vital people contributing to Fergie winning his first trophies. Keane on the other hand was part of the clubs most succesful period, leading his troops to some of the greatest achievements this club has ever had. Just because of this little difference between those two I would start with Keane over Robbo, but there is very little between those two.

    However, because Charlton is undroppable I’d use him “in the hole” behind Law. I know what Cantona did for this club, what a character and player he was, but Law is a legend beyond compare as far as strikers to. It’s very hard to leave Eric out, but I’d choose Denis and Bobby as our forwards. On this wings I would have Giggsy and Ronny, as those two are the only shoe-ins in this team I can think of along with Neville and Irwin.

    In defence I’d have Rio and Vidic. Despite Bruce, Pallister and Stam being incerdible defenders, our defence was probably our weakest link during their period. We always had the mentality of outscoring the oppisitons and that time, and defensivly we weren’t exactly solid. Stam was brilliant, but you have to remember he only stayed and this club for 3 years. With Rio and Vida on the other hand, we have had the most solid defence in the world for about 4 years. I want to remember Rio as the player he was, instead of the one he is now, and between 2006 and 2009 he was the best defender in the world, only rivaled by Vidic. He had everything! Absolutely everything you want in a defender, so I’d settle for those two just because of the history of our defence. In goal I’d choose Schemicel, just for the many times he saved our asses! Sometimes he could be impossible to score on, a striker could be 1 yard away from goal with Schmeicel nowhere to be seen only for him to show up with an incredible save! Van Der Sar was brilliant, absolutely brilliant, and his save in Moscow is one of the most historic moments during this clubs history. But Schmeicel is the best goalkeeper to have ever graced this game, after Kahn. Neither Casillias, Buffon or Neuer are even close to those two!

    So my team:

    Schmeicel
    Neville Rio Vidic Irwin
    Ronaldo Keane Scholes Giggs
    Charlton
    Law

    • Agree more or less:

      1) Replace Law with Cantona — going to City has consequences. Cantona is my Utd hero!
      2) Replace Keane with Charlton — Charlton was a giant in his time, much bigger than Keane ever was, imo.
      3) Replace Rio with Brucey — 7-month ban + contract haggling has consequences.

      I don’t care whether this “team” will play well under Fergie (obviously greatest United mAnager EVER!). I care that these players are the best United team I can ASSEMBLE [I am pretty sure that today’s united team would beat any assembled “greatest ever” Utd anyways].

      Maybe another interesting questions would be:

      Which actual starting 11 of all Utd starting 11’s (i.e. Utd team that actually played together) would be the best ever!!

      Holy Trinity? 1999? 2008? — I am leaning towards 2008, because of Ronaldo, fit Hargo, Rooney+Tevez, EVDS, Rio+Vidic, Scholes, Giggs….

      • Agree about the 2008 team, remember Evra was in top form then as well! Wes played almost every game, and was incredible that season behind Ronaldo on that right side. I loved that team, except for Tevez. Because he is a cunt. Seriously, wonderful player when at his best like he was that season, but a true Argie cunt.

      • Rio is or was twice the player Bruce was, you could argue Pallister, but not Bruce. Rio for me is one of the best centre backs ever to play for the club, yes he isn’t the player he was but he was for me the best centre half in World a while back.

  6. Too bad FIFA does not allow you to have famous side of the past (national or club) and only have that cheap World XI, Club XI…. I want Utd ’68, Brazil 1994, France 1998, Germany 1990, Holland 1990, Argentina 1986, Barca 1990, etc…

    MADDEN used to have this feature where you could unlock cards of past heroes and teams and play with and against then in exhibition games….

    • You can make your own teams with their online thingy and download them. If you have the patience you could make them!

  7. Although I must say, I think the 2006/07 team was better. That was the season 8 of our players were on the PFA team of the season, Carrick, Rooney and Saha the only absentees! Ronaldo in top form, Gaz, Rio, Vida and Evra being unbeatable along with a solid and “young” Van Der Sar. Scholes was playing the best football he had in his career, with Giggsy having his last full season as a winger and Carrick impressing everyone. I mean, who can forget those two goals against Roma in the 7-1 mauling, and countless assists! Rooney scored 23 goals, which up until 2010 was his best total. Saha, from August until January, was our top scorer and played like he was the best striker in the world. I think he had 12 goals and 9 assists in January, which was impressive as fuck, him scoring against both City and Chelsea at Old Trafford. We also had Ole who could come up with a few goals from the bench, in his last season with United.

    Our only problem that season was backups… When Saha and Ole got injured, we had to call on Larsson for 3 months until Smiudge could fully recover. Fletcher and O’shea were our backup midfielder, and when Evra, Vida, Rio and Neville got injured we had to use Brown, Silvestre, Heinze and Richardson as backup! Park, although he had a good season, didn’t get fit until February, so we didn’t really have any backup on the wings besides Eagles.

    We mauled practically every team we faced that season, and up until injuries hit us in April we had only lost 3 games! Remember, this was the last full season Mourinho had at Chelsea, yet we won the title with two games to spare. We had so many memorable moments that season, so many beautiful and vital goals, and great victories. Ronaldo’s late winner at Fulham, Sheasy at Liverpool, Rooney against Milan, then there was the 7-1 win against Roma, the 4-2 comeback against Everton, 4-1 Blackburn in what Fergie calls the “best atmosphere he has ever witnessed at Old Trafford”! Scholesy’s goal against Villa, Smith vs Roma, and of course all the times Ronny popped up with the all important goal.

    The 2006/07 United team is probably the best I have ever seen. That is the best football we have played, and had we not entered the Milan away game with Rio, Evra and Neville injured, along with only a half fit Vidic, who knows what would have happend? We could easily have won the treble, but the Wembley defeat to Chelsea came courtesy of a season too long for such a small squad. Had we not lost in Milano, we would have faced Liverpool in athens. A Liverpool without Fernando Torres. Yeah, ask me and I’ll probably say that team is the best we’ve had under Fergie.

    • Not the 94 side? Schmeichel, Parker, Irwin, Pallister, Bruce, Ince, Keane, Giggs/Sharpe, Kanchelskis, Cantona, Hughes/Cole…For me that was an awsome side.

      • We were very poor defensivly that season compared to the 2006/07 version. I think the 1994 team rates above the 1999 era, despite being a very compact and solid team during the treble season we were much more fluid and unpredictable in 1994. Cantona, Kanchelskis, Sharpe, Giggsy, Hughes, McClair, Keane, Ince, Robson… Choose as you will! As for attacking flair, I think that team rates above the 2006/07 version, which says all you need to know about their exellence! But defensivly I felt we were very poor, Bruce and Pallister didn’t really have the greatest of seasons despite playing EVERY single game! Our cover in defence was poor as well, with Parker, Bruce, Irwin and Pallister being the players who played most games that season. Cover was poor, first-choice weren’t as good as the defensive force in 2007, so I’ll still pick the 2006/07 team.

  8. For me:
    Van Der Sar – I would choose him over the Great Dane, Schmikes was a superb, keeper but a poser, Edwin was so reliable.

    Gary Neville – My Manchester United, great going forward but could defend, a true legend eh Grognard?

    Denis Irwin – A right footer playing fullback, never had a bad game and scored 22 goals.

    Rio Ferdinand – The most underrated talented player England have ever produced, a cocky sod not doubt, but if he were German he would be heralded a some of the true greats.

    Jaap Stam – Quicker than Vida and a rock, underpinned the treble season.

    Duncan Edwards – He could play anywhere, I would stick him in the centre of midield.

    Bobby Charlton – Only issue for me is where to play him, he and Duncan were great mates so I would play them together.

    George Best – The player that symbols United, a player who you would pay money to watch

    Ryan Giggs – Living legend, the goal against Villa in the semi final against Arsenal one one of the best memories of my life, never write us off.

    Cristiano Ronaldo – A twat, but a brilliant twat. Yes he loved Real more than us, but he was a excellent.

    King Denis Law – A great player and man, no United great eleven would be without him.

    • I didn’t see this before I asked for yours above, mate. Great read, great team.

      My XI……how many XIs are actually possible?! 😀

      Schmeichel

      Irwin, McGrath, Ferdinand, Neville

      Giggs, Keane, Charlton, Ronaldo

      Cantona, Best

      Bench: VDS, Stam, Robson, Crerand, Scholes, Whiteside, RvN.

      • McGrath was a wondeful player, I was baffled he didn’t get into the Red Rants top 10.

  9. paul scholes reminds me of an elegant snooker player with is stlye and elegence on the ball

  10. my greatest team is
    schmiceal
    g. neiveille vidic stam irwin
    beckham keane scholes giggs
    best
    v. nistlerooy

    I just cant leave beckham out as his quality regards passing is guarrented plenty goals

  11. did anyone see scot parkers performance for england tonight? He was a rock, a beast and a machine¬ 5million quid what a bargain

    • He feels more like ice-cream to me… I would love to have him no matter what, where or when, and when I see him with someone else it makes me want it even more. And I still remember the best ice-cream I ate, it was pure heaven and gives me chills. And I want more of it.

      Ice-Crimstiano Ronaldo

  12. I watched the England game and yes Parker did ok most of the time – he won the ball back but he did concede possession so often too. Jones was terrific, but O my – Welbeck is a non entity in international football – no presence on the field, and to be honest he did NOWT – so poor! I am sorry but it is true! Spain were the footballers, and how Villa and Fabregas missed sitters I don’t know! Spain deserved at least a draw!

  13. Schmeichel
    Neville Vidic Bruce Irwin
    Ronaldo Keane Scholes Giggs
    Best
    Cantona

    The truth is that picking a Best XI is absolutely impossible.

  14. Yeah it seems ridiculous with Hargreaves definitely going we did not consider a cheap signing like Scott Parker who did a lot to help West Ham last year. And Carrick defenders still wonder why Carrick never gets anywhere near the England squad.

    • Michael Carrick is a continental midfielder. His talents of retaining possession and high technical abilities have never been appreciated by a neanderthal side like England. You have to remember how Scholes was wasted in international football because they misguidedly tried to get Lampard and Gerrard into the same team. If anything, being separated from a talentless bunch of grafters is a compliment to any English footballer excluded from the England squad.

      Spain absolutely schooled England in front of their own fans, and on any other day the score would have been 0-3. Ironically, this result may instill the arrogance England usually take into every major tournament and lead to delusions of grandeur, only to end with defeat and bitter disappointment at the hands of a far better team ie. same old story

      • It was like watching Stoke vs Barca, one team dominating possession and simply playing the opposition off the park, while England defended with every man and scored on a set-play.

  15. Apparantley Cleverley had signed a contract with Nike, meaning he’ll switch from wearing Adidas boots to Nike. I’ve always felt Adidas boots are best, at least the new style. The current lasers are falling behind, and except for the CTR Maestri boots Adidas are MUCH better. But oh well, Clev knows what suits him better than I do!

    Wonder which type he’ll use… Considering he used Adipure at the start of the season I’ll expect he’ll be used CTR Maestri or the Tiempo’s… 😕

    • As a principle, I always stick with one type of boot. I’d never cheat on my wonderful Adidas predators 8)

      Iniesta wears T90s (usually a striker’s preference), so I guess Cleverley is on the right track!

      • I used Predators up until 2008, but switched to Nike Lasers that summer. Kept on using that brand up until this spring when the new Adipower boots came out, light as fuck and perfect for my play. Feel they give me the edge, Nike boots aren’t as comfy or help my touch as much as the Predator’s do. Never used Nike Maestri’s though… Sticking to Adidas per se! 😀

        Here are my current boots, designed them myself!

        • Custom made, I like! They cost a fortune though, but I suppose it’s worth it when your foot stops growing.

          I’ve never gone exotic with the boots, usually my team mates get the piss taken out of them when they wear lime, orange, pink etc. Not only am I safe with these bad boys but they just feel right and the weight of the pass never lets me down. You don’t choose which boots you should wear, they choose you 😈

        • Those were some sweet motherfuckers!!! 😯 Personally I’ve never been a fan of black boots, always stick with those with white as the prime color. Unfortunately that makes me have to buy new ones more often, as when they get dirty they are impossible to clean. They get really heavy when they are dirty, and clean them too often and the leather rips. But have to wear white ones, it’s a mental thing and it makes me feel lighter on the ball, much quicker feet.

          I’ve always loved Becks way of having his boots. Remember watching him ever since his debut wearing a white-red-black combo. Still remember his boots when he scored THAT free-kick against Greece, were the best football boots I’ve worn in my life! Felt unbeatable. Decided to stick with that combination forever, but unfortunately they stopped making that in 2008, so I switched to Lasers because they felt awesome. Hope they’ll return with that white-red-black colorway soon, won’t have to design new boots every time I buy some! 😆

  16. Thinking about it, when does our contract with Nike run out? There are “leaked pictures” going around of a Tartan Home Kit for us next season, and to be honest it looks like shit!!! I think our current homekit is amazing, probably the best we have had in the Premier League era! It’s plain, but still powerful, but how come we’ll only use it this season?? 😕 Up until 2009 we wore a kit for two seasons running before switching, why is shit fucked up now? Gotta say Adidas make some bloody fine ass kits, wouldn’t mind if they took over… I mean, any brand that can make a Liverpool kit look decent deserves respect!! It feels like I’m using luxury toilet paper when I wipe my ass with it now, felt like a fucking Carlos Tevez face when they had Reebok!

    • I’ve just seen the leaked photos and they look genuine. I think I’m gonna be sick 🙁 My favourite shirt in the past 5 years has been the black 07/08 away shirt. We looked like fearsome motherfuckers.

      Instead of looking like Scottish geezers running around in pyjamas, I want us to look like intergalactic champions with scientifically enhanced fibre and radiant colours.

  17. I want to see Carrick and Cleverley paired against Swansea, I think they can form a pretty good partnership in the middle. Is Young back for that game?

    • Who cares whether young is back or not Eddi mi man – young is a homer, we never get much from him in away games! Just MHO. 😀

        • He did well away to WBA, and was decent against Bolton. Didn’t do shit against Liverpool or Stoke though, but frankly who did??

          “whispers Nani”, but other than that?? 😆

  18. I want us to buy Rodwell next summer. Although he hasn’t done too well at Everton he could become a revelation here. I’ve seen some Everton games this season, and it’s no surprise they struggle! For a team based on wing-play, they don’t really have any decent wingers. Coleman is quick, but can’t cross… Don’t get me started on Osman, and Drethe reminds me more of a attacking midfielder than a winger! Baines and Hibbert are their best “wingers”, which says it all really… And considering their strikers are Saha and Velios, how the fuck are they supposed to score going through a team. Saha has great movement but really lacks the pace he used to have, which makes him volnurable. Cahill, Fellaini… Their team is built for aerial battles, still they can’t play wide unless their fullbacks help out. How the fuck is he then supposed to be a force there? Imange Scholes and Keane playing with only Ruud up front, and no Becks or Giggs to support them. They’d be shite!! 🙄 Get the lad here, play him with Cleverley and we’ll have a potent mix in the middle. Our wingplay has always been our strength, and with those two centrally we would have everything you actually want from a midfield.

    • Rodwell is a good player and would be a typical Fergie buy, have you finally seen the Anderson light now mate? 😉

        • Thing is mate, I live in the words of Paul Scholes.

          Football is a simple game complicated by idiots.

          He was talking about the England national team, and that quote stuck to me. Football is a very simple game. It’s about putting a round ball into a very huge net. Of course there are various ways to do so, but in the end that’s what you actually are supposed to do! Get in a good position, get the ball, pass it onto another, move into a good position, recieve it and give it to your team-mate. Repeat this as many times as you can, and in the end you’ll eventually get it into the net. Although Scholes was known for his long-range passing, he only did it when he felt it was the appropriate thing to do, and being confident it would get to the player. Why pass it just to pass it? Players like Gerrard, Lampard, and Anderson are players who’ll play that hollywood pass just so it looks good, rather than because it’s necessary. Keep possession, move forward, press the opposition backwards and you’ll get more and more room. In the end, if you’ve gotten than necessary space, take a long shot and hope it goes in, or you get a rebound in which someone can score from. Cleverley is a master of this, same goes for Welbeck. For a striker, Danny doesn’t really get in the positions Ruud or Chicharito does, but he’ll always be available for a pass, and he knows what to do when he recieves it. I’ve seen Craig complain about Danny not taking too many shots, but fact is he has scored 5 goals for us this season compared to Chica’s 4, despite playing less games. Along with that, he’s got 3 assists compared to the Mexican’s 1. Of course they are different players, but if we are supposed to play the United way I’d have Welbz in my team any day! He’ll get into great goalscoring positions, he’ll always be available, he does have pace to burn and he’s pretty good in the air. I love Lil Pea, but if we are going to play beautiful football Cleverley and Welbeck are a must! One or two-touch passing, incerdible movement and vision, and they can do the lot asked from a footballer. Whereas Anderson will do the headless, he does have all the ability in the world but he is just so fucking dumb! At the start of the season he played great, quick-short passing, getting into positions, even getting one or two goals under his belt. But ever since the Chelsea game he has started with those hollywood passes which, even if they do hit their man, are more hit in hope that expectation. Sometimes it goes brilliantly, and some may be the passes of the season, but when you hit one of four it’s simply not good enough for a club of our standard. Just do it simple! Carrick gets a lot of stick, but the lad really does play football! He gets into positions, passes the ball with accuracy, intercepts, then makes himself available for a pass, and when he then gets it he gets it to the player who is available. Clev and Carrick may not have the grit we are used to in midfield, with lads like Butt, Keano, Robson and even Fletch being proven warriors during the years, but they are inredibly smart and they perform their tasks to maximum effect. I want to see them paired more often, I really think that if those two can develop an understanding they could be outstanding for us!

          If Cleverley squanders a pass, we’ll see him frustrated, screaming his head off and chase the ball back with all the energy that he’s got.

          If Anderson loses the ball, we’ll see him turn away, throw his hands in the air, and walk back in dissapointment.

          This difference is major to me, and the difference between being a Manchester United player and a Stoke player.

        • Great read mate, I love Welbeck but am a little sceptical, superbly wriiten matey anyway. Cleverley looks a real talent, him and Carrick in the centre of the park seems to be the best combo. Fergie for me looks like has had anough of Anderson, Javi Martinez looks like an option in Jan…

        • I’ve started playing central midfield so far this season, so I feel my inside-understanding of that position is improving. When I played there before I’d mostly win the ball back with a tackle and then one of my team-mate gets it, and when going forward I’d get a lot of room to make a through bacll or take a shot which gave me a lot of assists and such. But the level we are playing right now is getting much higher, the opposition is better and space is harder to find. I’ve really had to adapt my game, and I feel Tom is the perfect man to learn from(along with Scholesy). Forget all those long-range passes, they look beautful when they hit but what youtube doesn’t show you are those quick flicks and short passes which makes a world of difference. Look at the goal we scored against Chelsea in the 2008 Champions League final, how Brown and Scholes worked together to set up Ronny. That’s how you are supposed to play, those are the things that make a goal! Didn’t really apprectiate those things until just a little while ago.

        • Oh you are not gonna come up with that old lemon are you??? How can you compare goals scored rate between Wlebeck and master of goal Little pea. Considering Welbeck has played MORE games than Chicharito, but goals per game ratio for Welbeck is not what I would like – soz. Whereas with Little pea – play him with a playmaker and put him thru and he will invariably get goals. I would put my shirt and back Chicharito getting goals than I would Welbeck when we need important goals. Maybe Fergie should bring in a Mexican playmaker, because the Pea scores goals for fun for his national team. Just saying mate. I am not convinced by Welbeck at all, and when I have seen him play for the national team – well enough said. He will have to do a lot more to get the nod from me – nah I can’t see it with Welbeck mate. Maybe he will get there eventually – but! Now Cleverley – yes I can see it with that lad.

        • Goals per game ratio is very much in favor of Welbeck this season! He has 5 in 10 this season, while Chicharito has 4 in 12! Welbz started 7 of those games, Chicharito started 8.

          Add to that Danny has 3 assists, Chicha has 1.

          And Danny isn’t even supposed to be a scoring striker, he is very much a playing striker unlike Chicha who’s only reason to be in the team is scoring…

        • Well we will see at end of season who has most goals scored between the two of them. Then I might concede – and please tell me if Welbeck scored a goal that was vital to get us a point when it looked like no point was coming? His five goals he got – how many of those were scored in a single game where United were on top? Also how many were scored away from home? Just asking mate?

        • He opened the scoring against Spurs, Arsenal and those fuckers at Basel, and all his goals have come at Old Trafford.

          He’s a homer 😆

      • 😆 😆 😆 poor Andi! Now it seems Fergie is willing to let Nani go – with 3 Italian clubs and 1 big spanish club wanting to buy. EL STUPIDO move Sir Fergie, EL STUPIDO move. If mi man Nani goes I will have to start watching Italian/Spanish football 🙄 , as well as continue my always faithful support of Man Utd. I have never watched other clubs before – but well Nani love lives on doesn’t it? 😆 . I like watching the lad play – what can I say 👿 😀 .

  19. As a midfielder your game is very simple. You are right in the middle, you have the defence behind you, the attack in front of you, and looking to your sides you’ll see wingers. And if those wingers are good, they’ll run just to make more room for you centrally, and not demand the ball every fucking time. Many wingers will make a run and hope for the ball, and if they don’t get it they’ll turn against you and complain. And if they lack patience and understanding, they’ll get more and more central, making the pitch even smaller for you and everyone else. Getting space will be practically impossible! Players like Becks, Giggsy, Young, Valencia, and Nani ever since his turnaround in 2010 will stay wide no matter what, because they know that while their position means they may not get the ball every time they’ll create more space for you. And more space for you means more options, which in turn makes it more likely you’ll give them the ball more often. Simple.

    Playing in midfield will give you many different options, so if you miss a pass you should be pissed with yourself. Playing a hopefull ball means less than shit if it doesn’t hit the target, play the ball 5 yards to a man with more options or in a better position and you are one step closer to scoring. Having the ability to play it over 50 yards to the right man doesn’t mean you are obligated to, it just means that you have another option. It’s an option you need, but don’t want every time. Players like Gerrard and Anderson can pass it like that, but they do it too often if you ask me. Cleverley, Xavi, Carrick or Alonso don’t. They keep it simple, and Cleverley and Iniesta also have the understanding to move in a way that you make a 5 yard pass the possibility to get 20 yards closer to goal within 4 passes. Pass, move, recieve, pass, move, recieve, pass, repeat. I love it! 😀

    Now, where was I going with this? 😆 Oh yeah, well, these things are why I don’t want Parker in our team. Parker may win the ball back, but making a sliding tackle without getting the ability to use it afterwards is pointless, unless you can get it out for a throw. Parker did brilliantly yesterday, but he squandered too many passes and every time he slid in Spain got the ball back eventually. Keano and Robbo both had ability to win the ball back and then use it to the teams advantage. And with United this season trying to pass themselves through teams, signing him would be pointless. We might as well have bought Palacios off Spurs, or brought back Alan Smith!

    I know we have been playing really, really boring lately, but there are many things going into it. Against Chelsea, Norwich and Stoke we started playing like pussies, trying to do the wonderful too many times. And as we saw, when it doesn’t work out you are majorly fucked and although we get a goal or two, the game gets frutrating because we may try something like that 20 times during 90 minutes and only 2 work out. Agaisnt Liverpool we fielded a team of “Parker’s”, winning the ball back but not being able to do anything special with it. That is boring too. After that we tried playing “too safe”, I don’t know if that is something which became mental after the slaughtering of City, but at least we’ve seen how it turns out. We’ll play the ball, have the most possession, and get a clean sheet. But it will be boring, and 1-0 wins are what you get. Hope this changes.

    Playing it simple doesn’t mean you are playing it safe, it just means you are being smart. I don’t know how many times Cleverley missed a pass in the first half at Everton, but from what I remember I counted 3. And that first half is probably the best football we have played since Bolton away! Hope him being back in the side can improve this part, because until Anderson gets his shit together I am really struggling not to close my eyes the way we play….

  20. Danny Welbeck is as vital to Manchester United playing great football as Tom Cleverley is. I know a lot of people on here don’t really like stats, but it took Chicharito 4 games(Arsenal, Bolton, Chelsea, Norwich) to make as many succesful passes as Danny Welbeck did during his 81 minutes against Spurs in our 3-0 win. Danny also made more succesful passes than Chicharito did against Norwich in our 2-0 win in October, despite him replacing the Mexican on 65 minutes. We scored our first 3 minutes after Danny came on, before he made it 2-0 on 87 minutes.

    • What you on about Eddi? Chicharito IS A GOAL MACHINE – like Mickey Owen his game is all about GOALS. The games you mentioned where Welbeck got passes in were HOME games right? In the game against L’pool where Welbeck did nothing until last 15 minutes when he headed on a pass for – now who was it let me think – to get us a goal? Oh and let me think again who put in the cross for Welbeck that led to the goal??? Welbeck my arse! Sorry but I can’t see the Welbeck yet that you see Eddi mi man 😀

      • It all depends really. I bet you liked Ruud to eh? 😆 As said I preferred Saha that time, I’ve never been too big a fan of strikers who can du shit but score 😆 I want us to play proper football in every position, passing the ball quickly and accurately. I’ll say this, as a goalscorer Chicharito is the best on the planet by FAR! Can’t see anybody rivalling him for that award, not even Gomez at Bayern. Goalscoring machine he is, but I’ve never been the one for players like that! 😀 I want my strikers to masters of the 5-a-side, as well as having a burst of pace and a great knack of getting into goalscoring positions. That’s why I love Danny mate, hope you understand big boss!

        • I see where you are coming from and your tastes are your tastes – I am not going to scoff at them 😀 . I think though we need box players who can sneak that goal in very tight games and get the points that matter. We need all different types of players each with different abilities and role in the team, but in tight games without box players we are stuffed. Oh and yes I fookin LOVED Ruud, but I also loved Saha when he was fit which was rare 😆 . Ruud practically won the PL title for us the season when he made history with his goals – purely because he was a demon in his box play!

        • Love Chicha, absolutely love him. As a person he is amazing, and he has plenty of pace to burn as well. His movement is a dream to play with, had I been a winger I’d know I’d just have to put in a cross and he’d get on the end of it no matter what! Goalscoring genious.

        • 😆 😆 😆 not sure whether you are being sarcastic or not, but I agree 😀 .

    • We could go on forever, but I will wait until end of season to see who scores more than who. 😀 . I don’t expect the Pea to make goals – he is a box player, not a floater. In that box nobody ghosts and finds space like the pea – except perhaps Mickey Owen! You like who you like Eddi mi man, and I like who I like. You put your all on backing Andi – and he hasn’t truly come good yet – altho I do love Andi, I put my all on backing Nani who has come good – so I think I am not bad at judging players. I also notice that folk on here think I am crazt when I said that Wazza in my honest opinion will only be world class when he proves himself by performing on world stage, which he hasn’t done yet. Everyone wanted to kick my arse about it, but yesterday Pele came out and said that Wazza and Messi are not world class until guess what – they prove it on the world stage which neither of them have done. He said they are both great club players, but not great performers for their country on world stage yet. So at least one of the very greatest world class players has exactly the same sentiments as I have re this – oh yes I am in good company! 😆 . No doubt the wazza fans will want to give me a hard time about this, but will they do the same to Pele denouncing his knowledge and experience? Wazza will have very little chance to prove Pele wrong in EC – but lets hope he can do so in next WC – I want him too of course!

      • I’ll never doubt the ability of Ando mate! 😀 Just to make that clear, I’ll always think Ando has ability. He has all the attributes you actually want from a footballer, but he is so fucking dumb. My issues with him go towards his proffesionalism, and focus. He doesn’t seem to be working hard to improve his game, he still does what he did back then. His best games come when he based his game on passing short and moving with the ball over longer distances, but he just does it so rarely. Hollywood passes, laziness and pass-and-not-move are what will be his downfall. If he’d just focus, he would be exeptional! But it’s been 4 fucking years, I’m really starting to lose patience. 🙁 I said at the start of the season, when he did well, that we shouldn’t judge him from what he did then, but rather hope he could continue it and show improvements. He hasn’t really done that, but it’s still a long way to go this season so he’s got plenty of time to get some sense smacked into that fat head!

  21. 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 – that fookin twat Dzeko knows what it is like now to get walloped by 6 cracker goals. What a game by Portugal – and Nani was playing like a madman – talk about TRICKERAMA. Oh Fergie you don’t know what you are missing not letting Nani play his natural game. He was out of his straight jacket for Portugal that’s for sure and he put on a cracking show. The Portuguese were loving it and as you can see so was I. I did watch a good portion of the England game – but I was not overly impressed – but I agree with Traverse about Rodwell.

      • Did you watch the Portugal game Eddi? Djeko got booked for winding up the crowd for a good five minutes – precocious GIT he is. You can see he has got NASTY since joining the council house brigade – he has become a right tosser. Should get the ‘I am a jerk’ oscar award. The crowd in Portugal really gave it to him though – his face when the Portuguesers got their 6th goal – 😆 😆 😆 it was worth the entrance money to see his pissed off look on that ugly mug of his 😀 .

        • Dzeko is a funny figure for me. Remember how many of us wanted us to sign him a few years ago? Now look at him, his personality is shit and although he scores lots of goals for City he had a shit 6 months there up until this summer, and I really don’t like the guy personally. He is a bigger dick than Balotelli!

          We also wanted to sign Huntelaar back then, or the Brasilian Alves who played for Boro, or even Eduardo! Now look at them! 😆 Glad we don’t sign everyone us fans ask for, would have killed us!

          Would still like Rodwell though….

  22. If you think about it over the years we have been blessed with no end of talented individuals and selecting 11 is close to impossible. I did however have the opportunity to watch the greatest footballer live that I have ever seen and that was the genius that was George Best. The Best, Law and Charlton trio were incredible. For me no reds side would be complete without Best.Fantastic articles on this though thoroughly enjoyed it.

  23. Lot’s of Martinez talk over the last couple of days. Everyone is interested. United, Chelsea, Liverpool and City. United are acting fast to tie it up while the others are umming and aahing. We’ve bid £18mil but will probably go up to £23mil. Paper talk of City offering £38mil is nonsense, although January is their last chance to spend mad money before FFP kicks in next season.

    “When you hear of interest from a club like United, of course you feel proud. But I’m happy at Athletic at the moment.”

    His buyout clause is apparently E40mil. £25mil would probably do it.

    • Trav – the Wastelanders BLATANTLY wait to see who Man Utd are after before they go in for a player. It is same pattern with them over and over again – they did it with Nasri and he does not get a lot of football. If they weren’t such numptees maybe Mancini might have an idea of his choice of player for a change – but no – its always the very one that Sir Alex wants – well because they obviously think Sir Fergie is a great judge of players – USUALLY 😆 😆 😆 ..

    • Fantastic player, and one i championed for back in the summer, who apparently wasnt good enough 🙄
      Not gonna happen though, have we ever spent decent money or bought a first teamer in january? Not since saha in 2004 id say, not that i think we’ll ever be in a position to spend £25m+ on a player again for the forseeable future.
      One player i do like, although not saying we should sign, who also plays in the xavi/iniesta/martinez spanish way is joe allen at swansea. Really tidy little player, passes the ball exceptionally, gives lovely little one two’s, so intelligent, a real prospect. Will have to keep my eye on him for saturday, most certainly a player i like the look of along with barry bannan and rodwell.
      Some nice stylish midfielders there, and all of them british. Weird.

  24. Blimey – the pros are saying that Phil Jones is a rebirth of Gerrard, and his advance game will be ruined if United play him as CH – which they feel he comes up short because of his lack of real heading ability. They reckon he is as good as Keano at getting forward and has a great engine. Thank fook he doesn’t have the same diving and brutality tactics as Gerrard. Phil does have to work on his END PRODUCT when he gets forward though – he would have had a good few goals for club and country with a bit more composure when ge gets thru upfield!

  25. Saw highlights of an Eredivisie game yesterday night (delayed replay) between Ajax and Uthretcht (I think). Utrecht stunned Ajax 6-4. I watched it as I wanted to look at the Erikson fella who is talked about these days with a transfer to one of the biggies. The Ajax goal keeper was a comedy! Watch Utretcht’s sixth goal if you guys havent yet. Absolute comedy! But was great to see a game of 10 goals.

  26. Suarez the ratfaced peterass charged in the racism/scrap thing. Hope they throw the book at him. He gets away with molestation of ss silva… Time for karma to catch up w him

  27. Transfer News. FC Anzhi Makhachkala want Berbatov and will offer £15mil. Thank you footballing gods.

    We need something in midfield, and we need it bad. Javi Martinez is the one we are missing. A true box to box all round midfielder. Young, talented available and not CL cup tied. If we get £15mil for Berbatov we’d be dumb not to do both deals.

    Looking further ahead than this season, I can see Carrick, Evra and Park as next on the chopping block. I would upgrade these in the summer with Jack Rodwell, Shaqiri and Baines.

  28. I like Baines as a player. My only problem is he looks SO SO SCOUSE. He looks like a wonky Beatle. Other than that I’d take him over Evra every day. He’s 26. Quality set piece taker too. I think think the step up to a top Prem team would do him good, as it did Young.

    • Best left back in the Premier League, incredibly solid defensivly to be a full back without much pace. He knows his game, and he plays it brilliantly.

  29. Some lovely goals by our reserve team tonight, loved Ravel’s first. That’s exactly why young players should practice using both feet, for a left footed lad he really has an insane shot with his right peg. Hope Fryers gets more chances in the first team, he looks a really good player and would do well at left back. We are popped at centre back, and with the Da Silva’s not being able to finish 90 minutes without getting injured this really is his chance. Best defender I’ve seen United produce since Wes Brown! Calm, clever, quick and solid tackler, I want to see his end product going forward before properly judging him but defensivly he definately knows his game.

    • Morrison should have been in the first team squad months ago, such natural talent, what a gem we have here.
      Regardless of his off field actions (which were blown out of proportion in the first place and months old) you cant keep a talent like that down. Whats the point of letting him stagnate, letting distractions get to him as he finds the reserve level a challenge no more and averts his gaze elsewhere.
      Give him 10 mins here and there, get him involved with the squad, its only going to do the lad good.
      Agree about zeki, what a fantasic prospect, right up there with morrison and pogba. Ive been wanting to see him get some game time with the first team for a while now instead of resorting to calamity evra time and time again. Should be thinking about promoting him to the 1st squad or sending him out loan in the new year, because like pogba and morrison, its all to clear hes too good for reserve football these days so no point leaving him there.
      Always good to see some local lads in particular potentially making the grade. Zeki, tunners, welbeck, morrison and the keane twins, great stuff.

  30. Off Topic…

    But then this GEM of Attitude deserves applause..

    ‘Yes I do think I had an advantage of watching the game and thinking tactically, but the big thing was that I was mentally ready to come on. When I decided to stay at United I put my career in the gaffer’s hands: do whatever you want with me, I’m always going to be ready. Other players don’t really have that in them.’

    It is an attitude that should make his former United team-mate ‘Some players are too selfish and think, “if he’s not starting me I can’t be bothered”,’ he said.

    ‘I never had that sulk. I always felt privileged to have the career I had, just sitting behind the manager watching the game.’

    Solskjaer.. What a MAN, what an attitude, Hats off to him…

  31. Cleverley out until Christmas with a ligament problem. Get Martinez in January. Get Rodwell in the summer. Midfield sorted!

    • Carrick must start every single Premier League game at least until Cleverley is fit again. Our midfield is fucked, big time.

      Fergie, please, just buy a fucking midfielder.

    • Ah well, we’ve still got carrick, anderson, giggs and fletcher 🙄
      You know, its amazing when you look at that and realise that thats pretty much been our midfield for nigh on 5 years now. 5 years without bloody change, were still sitting here and wondering what fergies big plan is, and why he hasnt bought here.
      Is it that theres been nobody good enough? Absolute bollocks.
      Thats he identified the terrific youth prospects and is waiting to give them their chance? Maybe, but if thats the case he needs to use them bloody now. No more shit bigging them up and then leaving them to rot in the reserves, theyre ready enough to atleast start making the squad, even if it is just 10 mins here and there.
      You never know, one of them might seize the chance similar to clevs, and potentially save us £20m in the transfer market. If we just sit still and leave them in the reserves though, well, not only is it going to hurt us in the short term as we sit back and watch our team starved of any real service and creativity, its also going to put paid to any ideas that we have a potential class of 92 coming through again.
      Some acitivity whether its promoting players from the youth team, or buying in jan, is most definitely needed though in the coming weeks. It just cant be overlooked again.

  32. Cleverley seems way too injury prone. Was he like that at Wigan last year? It is no use proclaiming him as the solution to our midfield problems if he is never fit, especially when you consider the back up

    Martinez would be a great signing. We have seen how well Spaniards adapt to the Premier League: Fabregas, Silva, Mata etc

    • It’s not injury proneness that’s done this, it’s lack of options. We rushed him back from his ankle injury too soon and he’s made it worse. We rushed him back because we have few genuine options.

      I love Carrick’s style of play, but he’s just not fast enough for what we need right now.

      Fletcher is destroyer without being a bully so does it half arsed.

      Giggs.

      Park!

      Gibson!?

      Our midfield needs a complete overhaul. It is the engine room of a team, it is where your footballing philosophy will stand or fall. Do you think if we had Xavi Busquets Iniesta with our defence and attack we wouldn’t dominate a Barcelona team with Carrick Fletcher Giggs in theirs?

    • Yeah Cleverley had good few injuries while at Wigan – sadly the lad could be one of those injury prone affected soccer players – and we have had so many of them – right? I hope he isn’t but it looks like he is!

      • When Rooney got his ankle injury in April 2010 we rushed him back, and then didn’t get him at full fitness until October.

        Ankle injuries are very fragile. Everyone gets them, even star players like Messi, Ronaldo, Nani and Silva have had ankle surgery in the past, but they’re not exactly injury prone are they? It’s just bad luck for Tom, maybe we brought him back too quickly and that fucks his world up. If he’s out until Christmas, I say give him rest until January because this type of injury really needs care. 😐 Being such a dynamic player, he’ll sprint a lot which makes it even easier to injure it again. I don’t worry about his injury-proneness, ankle injuries are too unpredictable and until he gets another hard one I don’t think it’s an issue.

        • WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT – mi man Nani ankle surgery??? Where’d you get that one from Eddi? 😀 . Talking about Nani there is an hours programme on MUTV about Nani’s Portugal performances and acceptance??? Anyone know when this is airing – as I do not want to miss this one? 😆 .

        • He had surgery when he was out during the later stages of 2009, Ronny had it during the summer of 2008 and Rooney got it in Munich in 2010.

          Common injury which takes time to recover from, unfortunately, but it’s not something that catches up with you if you’ve given it enough rest and gotten properly fit.

  33. Does anyone follow @AndersRed on twitter? Some real interesting stuff about the financial side of football. Man City post a LOSS over ONE YEAR of almost £200mil. United without the Glazers could afford to match City’s spending and still make Financial Fair Play!

  34. With Cleverley out, will Fergie dip into the market? I fear he won’t, January is a funny time to buy and players we will be interested in will not want to sell. Will we hear the age old, “there is no value, we are happy with we have got” ” Anderson is a fantastic talent” ect………
    The facts are we should have invested in the midfield in the summer, we did not have enough quality and this is blatantly obvious, unfortunately. Martinez and Rodwell would be great buys, but I am sceptical that it will happen.

      • Agreed, I can’t see Fergie buying in the window at all. We should have strengthened in the Summer, but Fergie’s blind faith in your boy Anderson, Fletch and Carrick were for me stupid.

  35. My Greatest Man Utd XI; Formation 4-3-3

    GK Peter Schmeichel
    RB Gary Neville
    CB Jaap Stam
    CB Namenja Vidic
    LB Dennis Irwin
    DM Roy Keane
    CM Paul Scholes
    AM Bobby Charlton
    RW George Best
    LW Christiano Ronaldo
    ST Ruud van Nistelrooy

    Ruud over Law because he was awesome at scoring goals, including (especially) in the Champions League. Scholes over Duncan Edwards because, well, you know. Keano over Robson because he was slightly more talented, and fun! Felt bad about leaving out Giggs, but I believe both Christiano and Best are better wingers.

    Hope it sounds like the best ever.

  36. If you want to know how great Duncan Edwards was watch a dvd of Manchester U v Aston Villa the year before Munich. At 21 he was already a true great.

  37. I watched George Best play many times on pitches like quagmires, against some of the most famous cloggers the game has seen. He was in a class of his own. Two great feet and a great header of the ball. Watch the youtube clip against England.

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